CFS46: A Critical Moment for Agroecology

CFS46: A Critical Moment for Agroecology to Remain on the Global Agenda

The Committee of World Food Security (CFS) will hold its 46th Session from October 14-19, 2019 at the FAO in Rome. As in the past, IFOAM – Organics International will be the voice of the organic movement to the highest-level UN forum on food security and nutrition.

This year’s theme is 'Accelerating Progress on Sustainable Development Goal 2 to Achieve the SDGs'. Emphasis will be placed on the fact that we are still far off from eradicating hunger and malnutrition in all of its forms. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition (SOFI) 2019 report's lastest estimates, more than 820 million of the world's people went hungry in 2018. This figure represents almost 11% of the global population. 

Delegates from all over the world will gather to discuss the SOFI 2019 report and its policy implications in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They will also reflect on “good practices” in SDG implementation and explore how CFS can better address the systemic determinants that are slowing progress in the successful achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

Relevance for the Organic Community

For the organic movement, the most important topic on the CFS agenda is agroecology. More specifically the report on “Agroecological and Other Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems that Enhance Food Security and Nutrition”, which was launched by the High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) just a few months ago.

Report Findings

As the report concludes, “the global food system is at a crossroads” and “a profound transformation is needed at all scales in the face of demographic changes, increased pressure and competition over renewable resources, increasingly severe consequences of climatic changes and the loss of biodiversity”.

The authors highlight that “a considerable inertia, manifest in public policies, corporate structures, education systems, consumer habits and investment research, favors the currently dominant model of agriculture and food systems” while pointing to “the potential contribution of agroecological and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies to design and implement sustainable food systems that contribute to food security and nutrition”.

Although most countries welcome the report supporting the policy recommendations on agroecology to be adopted by CFS, the United States is strongly opposing any UN commitment on it. They have even tried to prevent the inclusion of report findings in the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, a document currently under development that is slated to be discussed by delegates of this CFS meeting.

CFS stakeholders will also address:

Our Participation

IFOAM - Organics International will focus its advocacy efforts on agroecology and nutrition, taking part in relevant negotiations and the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) discussion scheduled for this weekend. We will also meet country delegates to gain their support on these issues.

Our delegation will be composed of:

  • Frank Eyhorn (former Vice-president of IFOAM - Organics International and future CEO of Biovision),
  • Gábor Figeczky (Head of Global Policy at IFOAM - Organics International),
  • Cristina Grandi (Chief Food Security Campaigner at IFOAM - Organics International) and
  • Members and partners, such as Luca Colombo (FIRAB Secretariat), Juan Pablo Pineda Huamanñahui, Carlo Triarco (Italian Biodynamic Association President), and Adrian Müller (FiBL).


We will also be involved in several side-events to be held in paralell with the negotiations.

  1. On Monday, Frank Eyhorn will speak at the event titled ‘Beacons of Hope in a Turbulent World: The Building Evidence for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Transformations’.
  2. On Tuesday, Juan Pablo Pineda Huamanñahui will share experiences from the Nutrition in Mountain Agro-Ecosystems project at an event on Agroecology and Healthy Diets.
  3. And Gábor Figeczky will make a contribution on how organic agriculture can help achieve food security at the Food Security Standard event introduced by WWF, Welthungerhilfe, and the Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn.

You can follow the negotiations and selected side-events online on FAO’s webcast platform. Please tune in or join us, if you happen to attend the CFS.

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